Thursday, September 8, 2022
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes
Alt & Shawmut Hills Chapel
2120 Lake Michigan Dr., N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Friday, September 9, 2022
11:00 AM EDT
LaGrave Ave Christian Reformed Church
107 LaGrave Ave SE
Grand Rapids, MI
1 (616) 454-7204
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
The Nature Conservancy
National Park Foundation
Friends of the Katy Trail
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Ball Park Floral
8 Valley Ave.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Life Story / Obituary
Kind, caring, and generous Mary Ann (Dyksterhouse) Bartman was a beautiful soul who lived every moment to the fullest. A natural people person, Mary welcomed every person into her heart. Engaging and selfless, she always found a way to make people feel comfortable, supported, valued, and loved. Mary celebrated life's joys to the fullest and faced its hardships with strength and determination. Her indomitable spirit and wholehearted living inspired all who were blessed to know her. A loving wife, mother, sister, aunt, and friend, Mary will long be remembered and so very missed.
1946 proved a year of continued celebration of the nation's momentous victory in World War II. America's heroes eagerly returned home to a country filled with renewed spirit and hope, ready to claim their share of the American Dream, which they proudly fought for overseas. As American prosperity grew like no time in history, hope sprang eternal, and the Greatest Generation settled into family life and the infamous baby boom. In Grand Rapids, Michigan, the cause for celebration grew even greater as Nella (Van de Wetering) and Harold Dyksterhouse welcomed their daughter Mary Ann to their family on August 28.
Growing up on the Northwest side of Grand Rapids, Mary enjoyed the good company of her siblings. With two older brothers and one younger brother, Mary was very athletic. Unfortunately, there were no sports teams for girls at the time. She attended West Side Christian for elementary school and graduated from Grand Rapids Christian High School with the class of 1964.
Very social in nature Mary had many good friends; Once you were friends with Mary, you were friends for life! One of her friends, Shirley Wassenaar, gifted her with a fateful introduction to her cousin, Gene Bartman. Mary and Gene met for coffee, followed by a hole-in-one contest; sink the putt to win a prize. Gene missed; Mary banked it! She never let him forget it.
After dating for about three years, the couple married at Calvin College Chapel on December 27, 1967, during semester break. Following a honeymoon in Chicago, they settled into married housing in Ann Arbor. While Mary attended the University of Michigan, Gene attended Eastern Michigan University for his Master’s Degree, while teaching at South Lyon Jr High. The couple made many lifelong friends during their Ann Arbor days.
The couple built a home near Whitemore Lake. Mary graduated in 1968 with a degree in physical therapy and found work locally. In 1971, Mary and Gene welcomed their first child, daughter Kim. Their family was complete in 1975 when their son Trent was born. In 1972, the family moved to Battle Creek, where Gene worked at Harper Creek High School, and Mary worked for the VA Medical Center. In time, they moved to Grand Rapids for Gene's job at Calvin Christian High School. At first, Mary worked as a physical therapist for Butterworth. She missed working with kids with disabilities and found her calling at the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District, where she worked for almost 20 years. She also worked for Visiting Nurses, and then a Greenville clinic part time before she retired in 2009.
Mary possessed an adventurous spirit and found joy in many things. She learned to play piano as a child and played it her entire life. She liked all kinds of music, sewing, gardening, and reading. Fiction, nonfiction, and many biographies were read over the years. Mary enjoyed shopping for other people and traveling to new places. Happiest when outdoors, she and Gene kept a sailboat on Muskegon Lake and loved sailing. They also enjoyed hiking trips in Hawaii, the Smoky Mountains, and throughout Europe. Hawaii was her favorite vacation destination, and she was thrilled to go there several times. She and Gene enjoyed bike trips, especially three-day tours of Amish country in Indiana and Ohio, and they visited many of our country's national parks. Many camping trips were made with the Flynn, Cox and Wassenaar families, cross-country adventures were shared with friends, and beautiful times were shared visiting Kim in Texas. A lifelong learner and adventurer, Mary learned to rollerblade and windsurf in her midlife. Always an advocate for female trailblazers, Mary was a trailblazer in her own right.
Without a doubt, Mary's family was her greatest joy, and she cherished every moment spent with them. She created a tradition of baking birthday cupcakes when her children were little and kept it going when they became adults. She even shipped them to Kim in Dallas, Texas. As an only daughter, she took on hosting extended family for holidays and ensured everyone had a wonderful time. Mary's love of the beach inspired many special days. The family often went to the beach, where they set up the van, made breakfast, lunch, and dinner there, and traditionally stopped for ice cream on the way home. Another long-held tradition was stopping to watch the sunset; she relished each one and especially enjoyed sharing them with Kim at the condo she rented during the summer in Frankfort.
Despite the challenges of having Parkinson's Disease for the last ten years, Mary lived every moment to the fullest. Whether actively participating in ALS support groups, walking and running with her dog Sam, or cheering on her kids' endeavors, Mary always found a way to celebrate life. After Gene died in 2019, Mary moved to Huntington Ridge Condo, where with signature grace and enthusiasm, she made many friends with the humans and dogs who also lived there.
Mary Ann (Dyksterhouse) Bartman. After 76 years of living life to the fullest, Mary passed away on Thursday, September 1, 2022, surrounded by her children. She was preceded in death by her husband, Gene; brother, Ken Dyksterhouse; and brother-in-law, Virgil (Marcia) Bartman. Mary is survived by her children, Kim Bartman of Dallas, TX, and Trent (Tera) Bartman of Grand Rapids; brothers, Karl Dyksterhouse and Don (Mary) Dyksterhouse; sister-in-law and friend, Jan Dyksterhouse; brother-in-law, Glenn (Janet) Bartman; several nieces and nephews and many friends of various ages and backgrounds. A memorial service will be held at 11 AM on Friday, September 9, 2022, at LaGrave Ave Christian Reformed Church, 107 LaGrave Ave SE. Visitation will be held on Thursday from 4-7 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home – Alt and Shawmut Hills Chapel, 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW. Contributions in memory of Mary may be made to National Park Foundation or The Nature Conservancy. Please visit www.heritagelifestory.com to read her life story, submit a favorite memory or photo, or sign the guestbook online.